HUFFPOST HILL - Senators Pay Tribute To Dave Letterman With Johnny Carson-Like Work Schedule

HUFFPOST HILL - Senators Pay Tribute To Dave Letterman With Johnny Carson-Like Work Schedule

Jeb Bush thinks people who believe in manmade global warming are “arrogant,” but still won’t answer whether it was smart to go into the Earth in the first place. To all the naysayers who think the Senate doesn’t do any work, the upper chamber will be working on Saturday…mostly because it hasn’t been working. And Joaquin Castro estimates that one out of every ten of his colleagues live in their offices while in Washington. Don’t be alarmed when you visit your congressman’s office and find a dude in a white tank top ironing and smoking a cigarette. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, May 21st, 2015:

FAST TRACK ON TRACK - Mike McAuliff: "The Senate handed President Barack Obama a major win Thursday, voting to advance his trade agenda by ending debate on a bill that would grant him the power to fast-track massive new pacts through Congress. A number of senators objected to the process, complaining that they were unable to get votes on amendments they deemed essential to making sure that looming, still-secret deals with 12 Pacific Rim nations and Europe live up to promises of helping U.S. workers. But 62 of their colleagues disagreed, and voted to halt debate anyway, setting up passage of the fast-track bill by the end of the week. 'I'll acknowledge that the process on the floor has not gone the way that any of us would have liked,' said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and lead sponsor of the measure." [HuffPost]

CHRIS CHRISTIE RUDE - The Morning Briefing: "In what will forever be remembered as his 'I don’t give a shit,' speech, Gov. Chris Christie delivered a Bulworth-inspired, expletive-filled tirade against the media during the New Jersey Legislative Correspondent’s Club annual show that would have made many Iowa-based religious conservatives pray for his soul. All of the governor’s comments last night were surprisingly on-the-record, and certainly candid."]

CANTWELL, MURRAY (D-BOEING) SECURES EX-IM FUNDING VOTE, BOEHNER NOT FEELING IT - Boeing is really feeling Eric Cantor's absence so hard right now. Zach Carter and Laura Barron-Lopez: "Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) may have just secured a vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank in the Senate after haggling with Republican leadership in the midst of a debate over trade legislation, but House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) isn’t having it. Boehner told reporters Thursday that Cantwell contacted him to ask for a vote in the House to reauthorize the bank’s charter, which is set to expire at the end of June... 'She has contacted me and I told her I would not make that commitment,' Boehner said...While Cantwell appeared to be at the center of the deal after the Senate's morning vote on Thursday, one senior Democratic aide said it all came down to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who has remained mum on whether she will try to rise in the ranks once Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) retires next year. 'What happened was Murray,' the aide said. 'She whipped hard in favor of the deal. Because Boeing is in Washington. That's all there is to it.'" [HuffPost]

John Boehner gave longtime spokesman Michael Steel a birthday-song-length farewell today.

@michaelwhitney: OMFG ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ON THE SENATE FLOOR @ChrisMurphyCT

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Elise Gould, Alyssa Davis, and Will Kimball: "Between 1979 and 2013, hourly wage growth stagnated for the vast majority -- even while those at the bottom relied increasingly heavily on their wages to make ends meet. At the same time, the vast majority of annual earnings increases for the bottom fifth were due to increasing work hours, not rising hourly wages. Income inequality over this period also increased -- largely due to stagnant wages for low- and middle-income households -- and became the single most important factor in the increase in poverty…. Had wages grown in tandem with productivity over 1979–2013 and if the economy were at full employment, the non-elderly market-based poverty rate... would be 4.2 percentage points lower. This means that 11.2 million fewer people would be in poverty." If only there were some kind of way to force employers to pay higher wages! [Economic Policy Institute]

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UGH, SENATORS HAVE TO WORK ON SATURDAY?!? (ALSOqq VOTE ON THE FUTURE OF THE SURVEILLANCE STATE) - District work period? More like district hardly working period, amirite? Jordain Carney: "Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moved Thursday to end debate on two bills authorizing the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, setting up a pair of rare Saturday votes in the Senate. McConnell filed cloture on the House-passed USA Freedom Act, which would reform the NSA programs. That bill passed the House in a 338-88 vote but has run into resistance from McConnell and other GOP senators. He also filed cloture on a two-month extension of the existing Patriot Act, which authorizes the NSA's collection of phone data, a controversial program exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The Senate is now set to vote to end debate on both bills on Saturday. A Saturday session could be avoided if a deal is reached earlier, but that would require the acquiescence of every senator. Without action by the Senate, provisions in the Patriot Act that the administration has used for the NSA surveillance programs will expire on June 1. With the House set to leave Washington on Thursday afternoon, that also means there would be at least a short lapse in the programs — unless the Senate approves the House-passed bill. " [The Hill]

JEB BUSH HAS INTERESTING GLOBAL WARMING STANCE - Forget "I'm not a scientist," "people who believe in global warming are total douchenozzles" is the new move. Kate Sheppard: "Likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Wednesday that while he acknowledges 'the climate is changing,' he's not clear on the extent to which human activity may be causing those changes. 'I don't think the science is clear of what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It's convoluted,' the former Florida governor said at an event in Bedford, New Hampshire. 'For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you,' he said, according to CNN. 'It's this intellectual arrogance that now you can't have a conversation about it, even. The climate is changing. We need to adapt to that reality.'...Bush also criticized President Barack Obama's commencement speech to the United States Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday, in which the president argued that climate change is a national security threat. Bush said climate is an issue but should not be 'the highest priority.'" [HuffPost]

But can Jeb Bush cast himself as the safe alternative to Peter King? "Jeb Bush on Thursday offered a full-throated defense of the Patriot Act, the post-9/11 surveillance law signed by his brother, while on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. 'There's not a shred of evidence that anybody's civil liberties have been violated by it. Not a shred,' the former Florida governor said after a breakfast hosted by the Concord Chamber of Commerce. Bush, a likely contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, has previously defended National Security Agency spying programs authorized under the Patriot Act that collect data in bulk on nearly every American. Earlier this year, Bush insisted that 'we do protect our civil liberties, but this is a hugely important program to use these technologies to keep us safe.'" [HuffPost's Igor Bobic]

PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO BE MITT ROMNEY ARE PEOPLE, MY FRIEND - But will Jeb Bush finally admit that Mitt Romney was a mistake? Elise Foley: "Now, as the 2016 presidential campaign heats up, some conservatives are warning that the current slate of GOP candidates could face the same results with Latino voters if they don't take a softer stance on immigration. 'The Romney campaign should be a lesson to everyone running in the primaries this time,' said the former staffer, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the campaign. 'You have to handle the issue [of immigration] sensitively. You have to do it in a way that doesn't alienate voters in the general election -- unless you'd like to lose.'... "It's not being addressed, unfortunately," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who supports immigration reform... Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who have advocated for reform in the past, are currently doing the best job of appealing to Latino voters, conservative operatives told HuffPost. Bush has said he wants to end Obama's deportation relief programs and replace them with broad immigration reform that would allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. Rubio has backtracked on the comprehensive reform bill he helped draft in 2013, but says he would still favor legal status for undocumented immigrants -- once border security is addressed." [HuffPost]

WASHINGTON MORE SOULLESS THAN EVER! - Some really hot, steamy congress-on-K Street government relations happening here. "CRP’s revolving door data, which we will continue to update, shows that 42 of the 75 who left Capitol Hill at the end of the last Congress or sometime during that two-year term are currently employed -- 18 of them by lobbying firms or law firms that also lobby. They include, among others, former Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who lost his bid for re-election and is now a 'strategic advisor' at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck; Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), one of only two incumbent GOP House members to lose his seat in the 2014 Republican wave and now a senior adviser at Kelley, Drye & Warren; and Reps. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who were both poached by powerhouse firm Squire Patton Boggs. Matheson retired, while Kingston lost his bid for a Senate seat to David Perdue (R). In an interview with OpenSecrets Blog, Matheson described his current role as 'building client relationships and offering strategic advice' during the cooling-off period when he can’t directly lobby Congress (that’s one year for former House members, two years for former senators) - while also noting that he 'can still interact with executive branch agencies.'" [Open Secrets]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a bulldog meeting some cows.

FRESHMEN DISCOVER THE SAD PLIGHT OF THEIR HOMELESS COLLEAGUES - All Americans deserve a livable wage, even the ones caked in makeup from Fox News hits and wearing flag pins. David Hawkings: "Rep. Joaquin Castro knows a little about real estate, in part becaue his twin, Julian, is secretary of Housing and Urban Development. So after winning a safely Democratic seat three years ago, he decided buying a condo on the Hill was a smart investment. He soon started noticing, when walking home at night, how many windows in the darkened House office buildings emanated a distinctive bluish light. Castro guesses the number of his colleagues inside, watching TV while falling asleep, has only grown and easily tops 50 these days. 'I’ve been joking with my brother,' the San Antonio congressman says with a broad grin, “that he should have HUD designate this place a public housing project.' Humor aside, there’s a strong argument to be made for the conclusion. The dozens of members who sleep in their offices are, in effect, spending their weekdays in 100 percent federally subsidized apartments." [Roll Call]


- How to spot imitation wine.

- How to keep Chrome from eating your computer alive

- Guy plays Mario Kart with live music.


@owillis: a decade ago i was told the dems could never see the white house again, now im told we rigged everything to dominate it. okeydoke.

@emmaroller: ugh give me some space!

@delrayser : "For what purpose does the gentleman ¯\_(ツ)_/¯?"

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